How to Make Perfume




About: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and likes to be in the centre of things, so you will see him in several of my instr...

Intro: How to Make Perfume

Why spend a fortune on perfume or cologne when you can make your own for cheap. Brand name perfume/cologne can cost from $50-100, why spend that much when you can create your own fragrance with vodka and essential oils.

Instead of wearing a fragrance that everyone else wears you can make your own unique blend. Your own aromatic creations also makes a thoughtful gift.

Step 1: What You Need:


  • Vodka (the higher percentage alcohol the better) or Everclear if you can get it
  • Essential oils*, fragrance oils**, infused oils, even flavour*** extracts (make sure it's pure) such as vanilla extract
  • distilled or spring water
  • glycerine (this can be found in pharmacies)

Other stuff

  • pretty glass bottles to put the finished product in, preferably coloured glass, reuse bottles or find them at the dollar store.
  • glass jar for mixing fragrance in
  • measuring cup/spoons
  • a dropper if you have one
  • funnel
  • aluminum foil or wrapping paper if you are using clear glass bottles
  • a pencil and paper for jotting down your recipe
  • a discerning nose is helpful

*You can also make your own perfume oil Be a Romantic Scientist: Distill your own perfume oil.

**Fragrance oils are synthetic and are less expensive than essential oils.

***Quite a few perfumes use food flavours in them, so extracts are an easy way of incorporating them into your own creations.

Step 2: Preparing Bottles

Sterilize the bottles and jars in the dish washer, especially if you are reusing bottles. They need to be clean and sterile.

Step 3: Add the Alcohol

Measure 1/4 cup of vodka/Everclear and pour into jar.

Step 4: A Note About Scents

I've included a few words about scents, if you want to launch right into concocting your perfume skip ahead to the next step.

In perfumes the fragrance can be divided into three different notes depending on when they arise.

Top note: The initial scent when you put the perfume on, then disappears, they include; lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, spearmint, peppermint and others.

Middle note: This scent appears just after the top note disappears. Scents like; coriander, palmarosa, marjoram, basil, rosemary, rose geranium, pettitgrain, lavender and others.

Base note: This appears after the middle note and is the base of the perfume, they include; patchouli, vetiver, frankincense, cedarwood, sandalwood and others.

When you are mixing your perfume start by adding your base notes, then middle then your top notes.

Scents can be divided into different families such as floral, oriental, woody and fresh (such as citrus, etc) See wheel below. This is lovely but why do we need to know this? When you are mixing your perfume,adding scents from neighboring families creates harmony in you perfume.

Brand name perfume/cologne
There is a website which identifies the different components of brand name fragrances, so if you would like make an imitation of your favorite perfume/cologne check it out; basenotes Fragrance directory

For example:
Obsession Fragrance Notes

Top Notes
  • Mandarin, Bergamot, Jasmine, Rose, Orange Blossoms.
Middle Notes
  • Coriander, Tagete, Armoise.
Base Notes
  • Amber, Oakmoss.
Some of these scents may be a bit hard to find. (?armoise)

Aromatherapy involves using scents to affect mood and well being, if you would like to consider this when blending your fragrance, check out Aromatherapy for Emotional Well-Being

Men's Cologne
Guys, don't feel left out, try scents from the woody or fresh families to make a nice manly cologne.

Step 5: Add You Scents

This is where the magic begins...

Add approximately 25 drops of essential/fragrance oil.

Take one scent ;
  • add a few drops
  • swirl
  • smell
  • add more or continue on
  • write down the oil and number of drops
Take the next scent and repeat as above until you have added the approximate number of drops. Feel free to add more or less to create the desired fragrance.

If you are just starting out and don't know which scents to try. You can divided the alcohol into smaller volumes and try different combination, experiment, be creative, have fun with it.

Step 6: Let It Age

Once you are happy with the fragrance that you've created it is time to let it age. Place it in a cool dark location for a minimum of 48 hours, up to a month.

Aging your fragrance allows the scents to mingle, and also become stronger. Once you have aged your fragrance for the desired length of time, smell it again, the mingling may have changed the overall scent, so feel free to add a few more drops of scent to tweak it (don't forget you will need to age it again, if more scent was added).

Step 7: Add Water and Glycerine

Now that the fragrance is ready, it needs to be diluted.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of distilled/spring water. If you are making a perfume spray, add more water.
  • Add approximately 5 drops of glycerine, this helps preserve the fragrance.

Step 8: Finishing Up

Pour the perfume into your bottle, use a funnel if you need to. If you are using clear bottles, you will need to cover them with aluminum foil or wrapping paper (your fragrance needs to be protected from the light or it will go off).
Add a label, decorate it, give it a fancy name and be happy that you saved a lot of money!

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302 Discussions


4 months ago

Can you please tell me, if i will use the mixture of alcohol & fragrance (after ageing) then the smell of alcohol is more than the fragrance (even the % of fragrance is as high as 20%) , how to overcome the smell of alcohol ?

Another thing i want to know, if i use this mixture of alcohol & fragrance (undiluted) then it leaves stain on cloth , how to make it so the staining will not happen?


Tip 6 months ago

When you make perfume you want to use perfumers alcohol. It is made specifically for making perfume.


Question 8 months ago

does this seperate? How long does this last and how much peservative should be added? Which peservative do u suggest?how much does it make? Sorry for all questions. Also left long comment before realized i should hit the question button lol. Have a great day.

1 more answer

Answer 8 months ago

Hi, the amount of water to add generally as follows,

Perfume, 5-10% is water
Eau de parfum, 10-20% is water
Eau de toilette, 10-20% is water
Eau de cologne, 30% is water
Splash cologne/body spritz, 20% is water

or you can add a little (5%) try it out and then add more as needed. I don't use preservatives, the reason why I started to make my own is to avoid that stuff, this is just a hobby, I am not a professional. So with this recipe the scent will not last as long as commercial products.

This product will also separate and appear cloudy as oil and water don't mix. What you can do is after you age it, add the amount of water that you want, you can filter it with a coffee filter that will help great rid of the oil droplets. Make sure you age it first as it will give time for the scent to be absorbed from the oils to the alcohol.

I hope that helps.


8 months ago

In stage #7 you state to add 2 tbs distilled water but if you are making spray perfume to add more water. But how much is more? And does this recipe seperate?? I really appreciate you writing this article its easy to follow and not many people are willing to share in detail how to make something. I been trying several diff ways making a spray perfume/ body spray. I even order premade mixed bases thatt include poly20, poly 80, distilled water, peservative and thats bout it i believe (without looking it up) and they also suggest adding 1:1 ratio of fragrance/essential oil with poly20. Why add more poly20 if its in base already. But either way it turns out milky and still tries to seperate a little or i could added a tad to much FO/EO well even adding their suggested safe amount of 5% fragrance 5%poly20 90% of base it is a light scent and does not last so added about 5%glycerin, 10%each Frag & poly20 (approx) and rest base mix still doesnt last any longer nd diff not strong enough it's strength is about what u wpuld expect if wearing it 24hrs. But after 10min spraying it on u its almost non existing. Then i tried 91% alcohol and apparently added to much because the alcohol was very over powering. Definitely new to perfume but love to be able to make some. Im no scientist or chemist but i would like to make some that lasts, strong scent throw, and doesnt seperate. I make several products from home (bath nd body & soaps & along with wax products) but im struggling with perfume and cant afford keep wasting my products lol.i live in a real small town where products are mainly avaliable thru online purchases. I apologize for this long winded comment but wanted to give u an idea where im at. Oh also tried 90%distilled water 5%carrier oil nd 5%FO still separates.


10 months ago

Hi, i love your lecture. Please I need more tutorials in this perfume making. I want to go deeper into it cos I wanna take it as a business here in my country in Africa. I want to be making high qaulity custom made designers perfume for celebrities and other classy, stylish people. Please help me out to be able to build a perfume manufacturing company. Thank you


1 year ago

Do you add the water and glycerin before or after the perfume is aged?

1 reply

Reply 1 year ago

You add after it has aged.


1 year ago

Yes a type of distillation process.


1 year ago

Has anyone extracted with distillation Bittersweet nightshade? I have and it properties are interesting. Although it has solanine it melts at 273 deg C. Also the smell of the berries are horrible but they change with other results like steam boiling. It smells like woody tomato smell. Interesting smell. My theory is that there are volitle chemicals in there that can be captured through distllation.


1 year ago

Sohlex extraction of Sage leaves (a bit different then Korean Lilac).


1 year ago

I am thinking that 95% ethanol recycled through a Sohlex extractor is the best method for making a perfume. Cheese cloth, etc is required to filter the solution once it is done. In two weeks from now it should come my Sohlex extractor distiller.


1 year ago

Appreciate if you can advise if this Vodka can be used to make perfume?

1 reply

1 year ago

Do anyone know how to extract Lilac more efficiently. Perhaps using an Soxhlet Extractor to recycle the aroma of the flowers?


1 year ago

I have made cream soda tang perfume, Dr.Pepper perfume (with cream soda and tang) and many tea extractions perfumes. Does anyone know how to preserve the odor naturally longer?

2 replies

Reply 1 year ago

No since all the sugars in the Pop are left behind in the distiller flask 1 L and the aromas of the pop can be smelled.


1 year ago

94 proof alcohol can be very expensive. I can get 95% ethanol for the drug Pharmacy for 3 dollars per 500 ml. It only requires 15-20 ml of ethanol. So this is fine for me. As long as you don't ingest the perfume everything will be OK.


2 years ago


why Vodka is nesseserry?

a 94% pure alcohol is not recomended?